One might ask: Who are Truman & Buddy Buttigieg, Bailey Warren & Burlington Bloomberg? Are they relatives of the Democratic presidential candidates? Are they relatives? Perhaps, the black sheep? Or another such animal? If you answered "dog surrogates" you're on the money! Today. we review pets that are close and personal with three out of the 10-or-so presidential wannabes.
Are Dogs the Best Presidential Surrogates?
In the past, I've researched previous presidential dogs and how they related to their presidential candidate masters.
Unfortunately, there are no national pet polls that show you how one candidate has the advantage over another because he owns a dog. If that were the case, Trump would have lost his 2016 campaign run, since he one of the only pet-less presidents in history. While there was some "fake news" out there that he nursed a dog in 2016 named "Spinee," there are no credible facts to back up that conspiracy theory.
Recently, NY Times columnist Sarah Lyall believes that dogs do have some sway when they become presidential pets.
"For most politicians, dogs are no-downside campaign enhancers: (they are) friendly foils, emollient front-animals, reliable comic relief providers, and slobbery goodwill ambassadors. They can make even the chilliest candidate seem warmer," she noted.
U.S. pet owners are another indicator of whether or not dogs hold some weight for those running for office.
According to a recent survey of pet owners by the trade group American Pet Products Association, approximately 63.4 million American households have dogs. With that large percentage, one has to assume that these prospective voters would be pre-disposed to favor dog-owner candidates.
As far as being a viable surrogate, one might speculate they would be the best candidates for the job. Why? Because "they never say anything, let alone the wrong thing," notes Lyall.
Buddy & Truman Buttigieg
The Buttigiegs' are partial to two rescue dogs. Truman and Buddy are mixed-breed dogs who belong to Pete Buttigieg and his husband, Chasten. With their very own Twitter account [aka @firstdogsSB] and a little over 91.6 thousand followers [as of this post] their popularity online is growing exponentially, since Pete placed his bid for the 2020 elections.
They've become such fan-grabbers, that Buzzfeed made a "Which Buttigieg Dog Are You?" quiz.
The dogs are also incredibly supportive of their dad's presidential run tweeting: "It's time to put a puggle in the White House."
Their shared Twitter page basically consists of a stream of consciousness with funny, punny dog thoughts, memes, and pictures of their daily activities - eating, sleeping and playing - repeat!
Last October, after Elizabeth Warren threw her hat in the ring, her husband Bruce Mann was stumped on a question during an interview: "What was something he could share about his wife that the public didn't already know?"
Suddenly, turning her attention towards the kitchen, Warren yelled out: "Oooh!" Bailey, the couple's golden retriever — who then bounded into the sunroom, making a beeline for the senator and her husband.
"To the rescue! Bailey!" Mann joked.
"Good boy," Warren said. It was at that moment, Bailey officially entered the limelight, and henceforward shows up at most of Warren's campaign rallies.
Bailey has become a star in his own right. Photos of him get thousands, if not tens of thousands, of likes on Twitter and Instagram — outperforming the vast majority of the Massachusetts senator’s more substantive tweets. This 2 year-old is indeed an effective campaign surrogate.
Ex-Mayor Michael Bloomberg is also a big fan of canines — in all shapes and sizes. In January 2020, when he decided to enter the race, he released a 30-second advertisement in which a number of pooches expressed their “approval” of him, via some excellent voice-over actors.
He branded this ad with the hashtag #DogsFurMike, and the finale shows Bloomberg’s very own dog Cody "approving the message." With over 200,000 views in just a few hours, the new presidential candidate tweeted out "Dog people get me. Dogs, too."
When interviewed by Huffpost's Nina Golgowski about the ad, she noted, "Bloomberg’s campaign team did not respond to a request for a comment about the ad." and "as of press time, dogs are still unable to vote."
Unfortunately, I just learned that Ex-VP Joe Biden owns a pooch named Champ and recently adopted a rescue dog owner who goes by the moniker Major. However, since Mr. Biden has slipped to fourth place in the race, I thought I'd wait to see how he does in New Hampshire, before I investigate how these German Shepherds are faring on the campaign trail, and if they like the 'trail mix?'
Primary Source: NY Times